Linked: Google eBooks Launches

Google eBooks launches. Things should get pretty interesting, pretty fast.

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  • Christopher Clarke

    It’s great they finally got this launched. Looking forward to it coming to Australia sometime down the track.

  • Greg Bulmash

    I checked it out yesterday and was absolutely underwhelmed. It seems like a bookstore built by engineers who were given the task of building a bookstore, but were given no requirement for usability or decent merchandising.

    The navigation is terrible, it’s next to impossible to really browse or discover anything with any sort of quidance. If you know what you want, then the store is okay, but if you want to look around, get some suggestions, drill down beyond two or three large categry levels, it’s just terrible. It is the worst online bookstore I have visited in years.

    Furthermore, the vaunted free books option is a *JOKE*. Go to the computers section and try to find free books on programming languages. The top results are novels from the 1850s and 1860s.

    Seems like the Google eBooks store was rushed into release to meet a deadline for the holiday shopping season, but it was FAR from ready.

  • Eli James

    I must admit that I paid more attention to the reader (which is minimalistic, responsive and a rather beautiful example of engineering) than the store itself.

    But I suppose we should remember that there are so many players in this effort. Google has got into hot water with publishers before, and word on the pub grapevine is that they’ve withheld a whole selection of features due to opposition from publishers, agents, and the like. For instance – they didn’t include text-to-speech capability because agents opposed the disruption of Audio rights, and they didn’t include print, copy-and-paste, and annotation because partner publishers weren’t comfortable with the idea.

    I suspect that perhaps Google’s reputation in the booksphere didn’t do much good for it. Let’s wait a couple of months to see how this plays out.

  • Alexander Hollins

    I am most impressed that it seems they cover every reader out there. I have a sony e reader, and they have both epub and pdf options for me, which b and n and amazon ignore.

  • Eli James

    Every reader except the Kindle, you mean. ;-)

  • Alexander Hollins

    ohh, i didn’t know that the kindle didnt support adobe drm! weird. They really are making it as hard to put legally bought books that arent from amazon on the kindle as possible, aren’t they?